Sinner Reaches Second Straight Masters 1000 QF
In a Thursday matchup of two of the in-form players of the 2022 ATP Tour season, Jannik Sinner engineered an inspired turnaround against Andrey Rublev to reach the Monte Carlo quarter-finals for the first time, much to the delight of a Monaco crowd filled with Italian fans.
“It is for me very, very special playing here,” Sinner said of the electric atmosphere on Court Rainier III. “Obviously many, many Italians [in the] crowd. It’s incredible.”
With a 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 victory, Sinner improves to 19-3 on the year while 2021 Monte Carlo finalist Rublev drops to 19-5. The Italian has now reached the last eight at consecutive ATP Masters 1000 events following his Miami run.
After being forced to retire with a foot blister in his Miami quarter-final against Francisco Cerundolo, Sinner received a medical timeout early in the second set to have his right toe re-dressed. But he was able to overcome any discomfort to score what finished as a convincing win on Court Rainier III.
“I know blisters now quite well,” he said post-match, looking ahead to his quarter-final showdown with second seed Alexander Zverev. “I don’t think it’s a concern. We have to treat it a little bit, obviously, but let’s see… Tomorrow is an important match.”
Both men showed great attacking intent throughout, punishing short balls with no mercy, but Sinner’s defense and retrieving frustrated his opponent more and more as the match wore on.
After seeming to struggle with his movement late in the opening set, Sinner showed no signs of slowing down after taking the initiative in the second. He looked in real danger after dropping serve in the opening game of set two — a repeat of his start to the match — but found a new level to dominate the match, finishing with 35 winners.
“It was tough. I tried to play every point,” Sinner assessed. “I know him quite well. He plays quite a lot with the forehand. I tried to move him a little bit.”
After winning six straight games to take the second, including a run of nine points in a row, Sinner edged in front twice in the decider, his second break putting him in the lead for good. His seventh break of the match closed out the victory after two hours and 20 minutes.
Sinner, a Miami quarter-finalist each of the last two years, is through to his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final on clay. He has already reached a pair of Grand Slam quarter-finals in his young career, at Roland Garros in 2020 and in January at the Australian Open.